There is a fundamental truth that prevails in how the United States are seen by the rest of the world.
How the US vote the world votes.
I was very aware of this reality from a very early age. I was born in Greece to an American mother and a Greek father. I’m an American by default; I didn’t become a full fledged “American” until after our arrival here as a family in 1992, at the tail end of the first Bush administration. As a young teenager, I discovered a very different America, from the one shown to the rest of the world. The America advertised in the movies, was a completely different place, than the America we saw through its politics.
The America sold to the world is not the America lived up close.
US citizens living abroad are most aware of this dichotomy and its consequences. The US are a super power, and for as long as I’ve been able to understand the political process, they have been actively determining how the rest of the world works.
Every US president is deemed by Greek society and the media as the Planet President. He who acts so powerfully towards the rest of the world, that the rest of the world inevitably is forever aware and reminded of its place. The U.S president is seen as a supreme leader. Most Americans have no idea who the president or prime minister of other countries is; they don’t have to until its a problem for them, or their old “friends” become “enemies”.
Everyone knows who the US president is and what HE stands for. From the first moment I set foot in the US to live, I realized my unique understanding of what it means to exercise my civic duty. I exercised and continue to exercise my right to vote because I knew it was my obligation as a U.S citizen who was born and raised abroad, to cast my vote for how the US is perceived, through its international image. Local politics determined international relations, trade, war, peace and prosperity. The most chilling reality most Americans don’t see is that America’s president and Americas elections dictate how the world functions.
My resolve to vote in every election was cemented further after the 2016 elections results, (and in previous years) I was mostly disappointed, disheartened but not at all surprised. So my vote is not a reaction to the status quo but as an affirmation that people who vote for the greater good also vote for their local good in their families, communities, friends and fellow citizens.
That’s the only way I know how to be. We all have a responsibility to have governance that is for the greater good and not only through personal growth and gain. Demos-Kratos was a fundamental building block of what we like to call a democratic society in Ancient Greece, and although America prides itself as the longest running democracy; it’s policies around the world have time and time again supported, funded and praised a very different type of governance.
The reason people opt out of the vote is that for whatever reason at least up until recently it wasn’t dire it wasn’t imperative it wasn’t necessary it doesn’t help. The people are powerless.Voting is not just a privilege it’s your obligation to show up, and make good on the pure fact that you’re a citizen of a town, a city, a country and you matter.
I voted for those who can’t, and to honor the city and town I have come to call my second home.